Reactor makers look abroad as home market fizzles

| Sep 9, 2013

Reactor makers look abroad as home market fizzles

by Kazuaki Nagata

The Fukushima meltdowns and the continuing radiation crisis may have turned the public off of atomic energy at home, but it’s full steam ahead for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japan’s heavy industries when it comes to exporting that technology to power-hungry economies abroad. ...

Clearing way for wider military role

| Aug 19, 2013

Clearing way for wider military role

by Mizuho Aoki

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised to achieve his long-held goal of reinterpreting Article 9 of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise its right to engage in collective self-defense under the U.N. Charter. In February, Abe reconvened an advisory panel of security experts ...

Defense firms pushing to boost role

| Aug 12, 2013

Defense firms pushing to boost role

by Eric Johnston

With pressure mounting from U.S. defense officials and the powerful Keidanren business group on the government to relax arms export restrictions, the military-industrial lobbies in Washington and Tokyo hope the future bilateral security relationship will incorporate their interests more robustly. At the same time, ...

| Aug 5, 2013

U.S.-style class action? Unlikely for Tepco suits

by Tomohiro Osaki

About 1,700 people from various prefectures filed four separate lawsuits against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the government last March 11, exactly two years after the start of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The crisis, which is a long way from ending, has devastated local ...

Grip on Diet leaves no scapegoats for LDP

| Jul 29, 2013

Grip on Diet leaves no scapegoats for LDP

by Reiji Yoshida

The Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in the July 21 Upper House election and regained control of both chambers of the Diet, ending years in which the legislature was effectively divided and bills were held hostage. In recent years, whatever force was ...

Nintendo brought arcade games into homes 30 years ago

| Jul 15, 2013

Nintendo brought arcade games into homes 30 years ago

by Jun Hongo

On July 15, 1983, Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. launched the Family Computer video game console, or “Famicom.” Priced at ¥14,800, more than 63 million units of the iconic white, red and gold machine were sold worldwide, laying the foundations for today’s gaming industry. Here are ...

As new UNESCO site, Fuji set to beckon to masses

| Jul 8, 2013

As new UNESCO site, Fuji set to beckon to masses

by Masaaki Kameda

The official climbing season for Mount Fuji kicked off July 1 amid added fanfare over the iconic peak’s inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural site in late June. Straddling Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, Japan’s highest peak, at 3,776 meters, has seen a surge ...

Nuclear safety rules put onus on utilities

| Jul 2, 2013

Nuclear safety rules put onus on utilities

by Kazuaki Nagata

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on July 8 will begin enforcing new safety standards at atomic power stations, more than two years after Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant experienced three reactor core meltdowns. Hoping they become the world’s highest safety standards, the ...

| Jun 25, 2013

Unpaid overtime excesses hit young

by Ayako Mie

Some companies are compelling their younger employees to work more than 100 hours of uncompensated overtime a month to maximize their profits. Japan has been derided for its long working hours for decades, and the risks of the hazardous practice eventually led to the ...